The woman Kentucky elected to make marriages official

Kim Davis is digging in her heels.

Since the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide in June, Davis -- a county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky -- has repeatedly refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Davis is an elected official, so she can't be fired for refusing to perform her duties as county clerk. She would have to be impeached by the state's legislature or pushed to resign with fines or jail time that a judge could impose if she is found in contempt. According to the AP, taxpayers compensate Davis with $80,000 annually to carry out her job as clerk.

See also: U.S. Supreme Court rejects Kentucky clerk's objection to same-sex marriages

After Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses, it didn't take long for the lawsuits to pile up. Within weeks, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky slapped Davis with a federal lawsuit on behalf of four couples, accusing Davis of violating their rights by refusing to issue marriage licenses.

For two months, the ACLU lawsuit has snaked its way through the federal courts. After a district judge and an appeals court ordered Davis to issue the licenses, her lawyers made a failed appeal to the Supreme Court, requesting a stay of the lower courts' decision.

But Davis hasn't budged. Citing "God's authority," Davis has continued to refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples by refusing to issue licenses to any couples -- gay or straight -- altogether.

"I never imagined a day like this would come, where I would be asked to violate a central teaching of Scripture and of Jesus Himself regarding marriage," Davis said in a statement Tuesday. "To issue a marriage license which conflicts with God's definition of marriage, with my name affixed to the certificate, would violate my conscience."

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A gathering of same sex marriage supporters, left, and supporters of Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, right, face off in front of the Rowan County Courthouse in Morehead, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015.

Davis' conscience may truly be tested Thursday, when a federal judge considers whether to hold her in contempt -- which could lead to financial penalties or even jail time -- for refusing to issue the licenses.

It's an "unlikely scene" for this rural county clerk, whose mother served as county clerk for 37 years before her, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

In fact, public service has been in Davis' blood much longer than religion. It was four years ago, at her dying mother-in-law's behest, that she attended church for the first time.

"There I heard a message of grace and forgiveness and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ," Davis wrote in a statement, describing her religious conversion. "I am not perfect. No one is. But I am forgiven and I love my Lord and must be obedient to Him and to the Word of God."

Some of those imperfections have become fodder for Davis' critics, who have lodged accusations of hypocrisy over her four marriages. According to the Associated Press, which obtained court records detailing Davis' marriages, she has been married to her current